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Chipotle honey chicken poppers feature bite-sized chicken pieces breaded, fried, then tossed in an addicting sticky and spicy chipotle honey sauce. These chicken poppers will absolutely be a favorite at the appetizer table!

chipotle honey chicken poppers on a large white plate garnished with fresh green onions
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I know you’ve been to Chili’s before. You know, that chain restaurant that is surprisingly still in business? Like me, you probably went to in college because you didn’t have money for something fancy (but they had big drinks for cheap, lol). Or that first date you went on in high school. Haha, okay, Chili’s isn’t that bad and I’m just being facetious. To this day, I still actually like Chili’s because they have one of my favorites: chipotle honey chicken crispers. Fried chicken strips that are drenched in a sticky spicy sauce.

Instead of doing chicken strips, I took my the idea from my bang bang chicken and made these chipotle honey chicken poppers because the idea of bite-sized chicken pieces is more fun than strips! It’s also easier to serve as an appetizer when they’re chicken poppers vs. strips. Serve these chicken poppers with a creamy cilantro lime dressing or this chicken dipping sauce. Homemade ranch would be an excellent dip as well!

chipotle honey chicken poppers with a hand and toothpick taking a chicken popper

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Allot time to allow the chicken to rest before frying. Refrigerating the just-breaded chicken will allow the breading some time to adhere to the meat, lessening its chances of falling off during the frying process.
  • Get the oil temperature right. Oil that is too hot will burn the breading before cooking the chicken all the way through. Oil that is too cold will not crisp the chicken properly. It will absorb into the breading making it soggy and greasy. Invest in a frying/candy thermometer and clip it to the side of your pot to monitor the oil temperature easily.
  • Fry in batches. It is essential not overcrowd the oil. Adding too many chicken poppers to the frying oil will take the temperature down. You’ll end up with soggy, greasy chicken poppers instead of crispy, perfectly fried ones.
  • Toss thoroughly. One of the best things about this chicken is the chipotle honey sauce that the chicken pieces are smothered in. Make sure to toss the chicken in the sauce thoroughly to achieve this effect. You want every bit of breading covered!

Storage and Reheating Instructions

In the event that you have leftovers, allow the chicken to cool completely, seal it in an airtight container, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To reheat, place the chipotle honey chicken poppers on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until heated through. You can also use an air fryer for the same amount of time and temperature, or until heated through. If you are reheating from frozen, they will need closer to 15 minutes in both the oven and air fryer.

5 from 2 votes

Chipotle Honey Chicken Poppers

Bite-sized chicken pieces breaded, fried, then tossed in an addicting sticky and spicy chipotle honey sauce. These chicken poppers will absolutely be a favorite at the appetizer table!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed into smaller pieces

For the sauce:

  • cup (226 g) honey
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 g) ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the egg mixture:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup (118 ml) milk

For the breading:

  • ½ cup (63 g) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (30 g) Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
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  • Prepare a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stir to mix then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
    chipotle honey sauce in a saucepan with a metal spoon
  • In a small, shallow dish, combine the egg and milk. Set aside.
  • In another shallow dish, combine the ingredients for the breading. Set aside.
  • Bread the chicken cubes by first coating it in the bread mixture then the egg wash then back in the breading. Put the coated chicken cubes on a plate. Continue until all the chicken have been breaded.
    chicken thigh pieces breaded in panko breadcrumbs and egg wash
  • Place the plate of chicken in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • In a large skillet, add a thin layer of vegetable oil and place over medium high heat.
  • Once the oil is glistening, add in the chicken (I did it in 2 batches so you don't overcrowd the pan) and cook the chicken until it's cooked through and the breading is nice and crispy brown.
    breaded chicken thigh pieces being shallow fried in a skillet
  • Once the first batch is done, place the chicken on the paper towel-lined plate. Continue with the second batch and once that's cooked, add that to the plate.
  • In a large bowl, add your chicken and pour the sauce all over. Toss well to coat every bite. Garnish with fresh chopped green onions.
    fried chicken poppers being tossed in chipotle honey sauce in a white bowl


Serving: 1serving (222 grams), Calories: 447kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 152mg, Sodium: 1207mg, Potassium: 466mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 52g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Photographs by Eat Love Eat

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Recipe Rating


  1. So what temperature do we cook? I don’t see any temperature to cook! I’m guessing 350! I see temp for reheating in oven but nothing for how hot for oil just says glistening! Thank you.

    1. there’s not really a temperature…when oil is glistening, it’s hot enough to pan fry…i would say what to look for is when the oil looks wavy at the top. i know that doesn’t really help, but i’ve never taken the temperature of the oil for situations like this where it calls for the oil to be glistening.

  2. Awsome recipe I changed it up alittle I used Kentucky flour and roasted garlic bread crumbs also 1/4 honey 1/4 sugar because I didn’t have enough honey also used chipotle chile powder

  3. I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! The only change I made was to omit the vinegar because I didn’t have any, but it still turned out delicious. I served it with bell pepper & onion over rice. This was a huge hit & I will definitely make it again. :-) Thanks for sharing a great recipe! I’m so glad I found your blog (yay, Pinterest!) & am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  4. if I show this to my husband he most certainly will leave me for you =) ohmygosh girl! I don’t even care – i’m showing him!

  5. Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers are my absolute favorite. That sauce is like crack. I’m more than reasonably excited to try this recipe!